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Learn to Assert Yourself
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BATTLES: Assertive behaviour may sound risky and difficult, but you may find the risks worth taking and the difficulty worth overcoming when you begin to see the positive results. Learn to distinguish aggressive from assertive behaviour and know when assertive behaviour should be utilised. You will become a new and courageous person.
Pinpoint your own blocks to assertiveness: fear of disapproval, need to please others, fear of being too masculine or feminine, or the dread of making mistakes.
Visualise yourself dealing effectively with a problem situation by considering alternative responses.
Do not act hastily or in anger - calm yourself before the confrontation - take a deep breath with eyes closed and concentrate on controlling your temper.
Practice remaining calm, collected, courteous.
Be prepared to present yourself rationally and factually without emotion or conjecture.
Avoid making mountains out of molehills. Pursuing an issue that is small will discredit you when an important issue needs to be faced and resolved.
Repeat this step as often as necessary until you can comfortably imagine yourself dealing with the situation.
Assertiveness cannot always get you everything you want or force others to change. Yet it is far more effective than being submissive or aggressive.
Assertiveness interacts with other communication and relationship skills.
You need not always be assertive, but it is necessary to know how to be assertive when you wish to be.
Build your changes in behaviour gradually by choosing small problems prior to tackling more central areas of your life.
Allow others time to acclimate themselves to hearing from you in your new voice.
Once you have begun to function more assertively in your interactions, you are in the position to encourage that trait in others.
This article was contributed by CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA
Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved.
CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organisation which offers over 40 skills based management training programs.
Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organisations worldwide.
He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.
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